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Social Media Connects Us All to Boston ShootingSubmitted: 04/19/2013
Story By Kira Lynne

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Social media no doubt full of information and reactions from this week's scares in Boston.

Chances are someone you're connected to online is affected.

Newswatch 12's Kira Lynne has a friend who currently attends MIT in Cambridge, and spoke with her about her sense of security.

Alli is a graduate student at MIT and has lived in Cambridge for almost 5 years.

She lives about a 10 minute walk from where the shooting happened.

She says it's always been a safe community and never thought she would have to worry about a bombing suspect on campus, let alone the shooting of a police officer.

She first realized something was wrong when she heard sirens at 10:30 Friday night.

This was followed by emergency text alerts and phone calls through the night.

Alli writes: "I felt safe in my apartment building at that moment, but it was still scary to not know what was really happening and where the shooter was. It was also scary to think that I had been walking through campus near the shooting location just an hour or so before it happened. I could have easily been there. I actually felt more afraid this morning when it was reported that [the] MIT shooter and suspect in Watertown was the same person as the marathon bombing suspect, and the fact that this person had been so close to me on my campus."

While the campus was loud and chaotic Friday night, the request from city officials to stay home made for a different atmosphere Friday afternoon.

Alli goes on to say: "It has felt eerily quiet with very few cars and people out and about, because all mass transit was shut down and people were instructed to stay in their homes, businesses not to open. All the universities are closed. There have been occasional bursts of sirens, and I've seen some police cars racing down streets nearby. It is hard to say what the rest of the city is like, I'm limited to the part I can see out my window, but around here it seems pretty deserted."

Like all of us, Alli expressed her gratitude to area law enforcement and her thoughts go out to the family and friends of the slain MIT police officer.


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ONEIDA COUNTY - You often see tomatoes growing in gardens across the Northwoods, but making sure tomato plants stay healthy is difficult here in Wisconsin because of tomato blight.

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MINOCQUA - You know summer in the Northwoods will soon be here when seasonal businesses start opening up again.

Wildwood Wildlife Park opened up Saturday in Minocqua.

Hundreds of people rushed to the gate today to see all different types of animals, some local and some exotic.

"We are so busy today but it's a beautiful day to come out to Wildwood," said the park's director Judy Domaszek. "This is one of our baby aoudads, it's an African sheep, and as you can see in the background there are many people busy playing with the baby goats, and the sheep and the pigs and the tortoises, and they're just enjoying their day."

On Saturday the park had a giraffe feeding.

Workers also have been renovating and expanding the park.

The park has many new animals on the way, including some baby animals that were born there.

"The mouflon sheep are new, we've got some new reptiles, we have some new babies that we're going to have down in the nursery in a little while," Domaszek said. "We actually had a baby badger born here at the zoo. And we have a baby kangaroo. Those guys are all coming down when it's safe to come down."

Wildwood is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Then after Memorial Day the park stays open till 5:30 p.m. for the summer. 


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ADAMS COUNTY - Two men died in a car crash near the Wisconsin Dells Saturday afternoon according to the Wisconsin State Patrol.

Police got a call around 2 p.m. about a two-car crash on County Road B north of State Highway 23 in Adams County.

A 65-year-old was driving and a 72-year-old was in the front passenger seat. Both those men died at the scene. They were both from Oxford, Wisconsin.

Driving the other car was a 24-year-old man from the Wisconsin Dells. He was taken to a hospital but is expected to survive.

Wisconsin State Patrol is still investigating. The names will not be released until the families are notified. 

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NORTHWOODS - Prescription drugs play an important role in our health.

They help us recover if we're sick, cope if we have a chronic condition and help manage pain.

But those drugs can expire or just stay in the back of our medicine cabinets for months or years.

And if those drugs get into the wrong hands—such as toddlers or abusers—that's a problem.

That's why many local police and sheriff's departments participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back program.

It's run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Saturday was National Take-Back Day.

"We're keeping the controlled substances in the hands they're supposed to be in, especially with the pill epidemic now, it's important that these stay out of the hands of people that are abusing them," said Minocqua Police Officer Matthew Tate. 

Several area police departments hosted drop-offs Saturday. 

You can drop off prescription or over-the-counter pills, ointments, patches, non-aerosol sprays, vials and pet medications. You cannot bring in inhalers or aerosol cans, and you cannot drop off illegal drugs or needles.

All the drugs are brought to the state Department of Justice where they will be incinerated.

That's better than just flushing them or throwing them out in the trash.

"It's very important that it's not getting into our ground water is the main thing," Tate said. "We just don't want people dumping them in toilets or in their garbage."

If you have prescription drugs you want to get rid of safely, don't worry if you missed Saturday's opportunity. Many area police stations have drug drop-off bins in their lobbies, so you can drop them off any time of the year.


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- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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The logging industry is no different. 

Pioneer Equipment demonstrated its latest Rottne forestry equipment Friday, including a harvester and a forwarder. 

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